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Windows 7: Is my Recycle Bin structure normal ?

28 Nov 2019   #1

XP Pro (x86) | 7 HP (x86) & (x64) | 7 Pro (x64)
Is my Recycle Bin structure normal ?

Using 'Imation M100 USB 3" HDD as an external data drive for Lenovo 540 Edge laptop

On another thread Portable HDD Folders/Files NOT seen in PC. ... There is mention of multiple $RECYCLE.BINs

Is my Recycle Bin structure normal ?-recycle-bin-data-drive.png

I have only one recycle bin listed, but with 3 inaccessibe sub folders.


All 3 S-1-5-21-xxx folders are empty (0 files, 0 bytes)
Are 3 sub-folders normal ? If not can I delete all but one of them ?

Maybe pointless, seeing how they are alll empty

I use Shift+Delete to exterminate unwanted files /folders on the data drive

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2019   #2
Paul Black

Win 7 HP SP1 64-bit Vista HB SP2 32-bit Linux Mint 18.3

Hi bawldiggle,

Yes, that thread you quoted was mine!

I initially found that I had more than one $RECYCLE.BIN by reviewing the external HDD from an elevated command prompt window.

The solution was to unhide [uncheck] the protected operating system files in the Folder Options to allow me to see the $RECYCLE.BIN's in the HDD. I then just deleted them ALL. I then rehid the protected operating system files in the Folder Options. I regained quite a few GB of HDD space!

The $RECYCLE.BIN folder gets automatically recreated anyway when you mext delete something!

I hope this helps!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2019   #3

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

I see nothing unusual in the screenshot.
The recycle bin structure is more complex than might be apparent and is often misunderstood.

In Windows each user has their own recycle bin. A user will only see in the desktop recycle bin the files they have deleted. the physical storage of the recycle bin will be in the $RECYCLE.BIN folder in the root of every drive. There will be a subfolder for every user that has deleted a file on that drive. The name of the folder is the SID (security identifier) of the account. This number is how Windows identifies the account, the name being a convenience for us humans who have difficulty remembering long numbers. Even a non elevated admin account will not be able to see the contents of these folders. These folders may appear to be empty but usually are not. The $RECYCLE.BIN folder itself is a protected operating system folder and is by default not visible at all. Such files and folders can be made visible in the folder options but this should not be done unless you understand the nature of these files and folders. As mentioned, this is mot simple.

There are complexities contained in the $RECYCLE.BIN subfolders but I will not go into that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

29 Nov 2019   #4

Win 10 x64, Linux Lite, Win 7 x64, BlackArch, & Kali

Well said!
KISS (Keep it simple sir)

Same for Windows Update, very complex.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Is my Recycle Bin structure normal ?

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